Allotmentitis: How Britain Dug for Victory

I love allotments

Heritage Calling

Nowadays we typically associate allotments with garden hobbyists, but they were born out of a national drive for self-sufficiency.

To mark National Gardening Week (10- 16 April), Jenifer White, National Landscape Adviser at Historic England, introduces the history of allotments and their significance to our historic landscape.

Women_at_work_during_the_First_World_War_Q108033 WIKI Women at Work during the first world war Q 108033 from the collections of the Imperial War Museums.

The U-boat blockages in the First World War created a food supply crisis, as the UK was still largely dependent on imports.   In February 1917 U-boats sunk 230 ships and the toll rose further.  By June, a shortage of potatoes led to hotels being instructed by the Government to only serve them on Tuesdays.

By the outbreak of the war, the number of allotments was estimated at just over 440,000. As well as councils, railway companies, private landowners and the Church of England also rented out…

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